The Q1 2024 benchmarking report for UK find a trade sites has just been published. Learn how the top 11 UK find a trade sites perform across the digital space.
The latest Q1 2024 benchmarking report for UK find a trade sites has just been published. It covers the largest 11 trade comparison websites in the UK, including Rated People, Checkatrade.com, TrustATrader, Quotatis UK, MyJobQuote, Bark, Book a Builder UK, Houzz, Local Heroes, Which? Trusted Traders, and MyBuilder.
The research gives an inside track on who is winning the biggest share of voice online, and quantifies the gaps, risks and missed opportunities for other find a trade websites to win brand exposure, drive traffic online, and increase listing volumes. The report highlights quick wins that will improve enquiries from your online strategy and identifies the barriers that may be reducing your site’s ability to optimise digital performance.
To see a preview and contents page of the Q4 report, click here. To get a copy of the full report and the key takeaways, please complete the enquiry form or schedule a call.
Q1 2024 winners leader board
For a glance into just 6 of the metrics we evaluated these top 11 find a trade websites on, check out our quick-look table below;
Continue reading for further detail on this quarter's best and poorest-performing UK find a trade sites or request a copy of the report for the full review.
What The Industry Research Report Covers
The 70+ pages of research benchmarks each brand based on 50+ metrics and indicators of successful digital strategy, including organic visibility, domain authority, paid media ads, conversion performance, technical performance, site speed, universal search, content, social ads, accessibility, and mobile performance.
Driving Optimal ROAS from Paid Media Channels
Some of the leading players in the space are high spenders on paid media channels such as Google, Bing & Facebook - but have a poor or sub-optimal conversion improvement strategy. Without an optimised, sophisticated conversion strategy that maximises the conversion rate, the return on investment is unsustainable or will under-perform. Scaling spend on paid media is not achievable unless the conversion rate delivers optimal performance in the sector. Some in the space have paid media spend levels from 30k+ per month but dedicate minimal resources and budgets to conversion testing. Given the cost per clicks on ad networks will continue to rise, we recommend spending at least 10% of your paid media budget on ongoing conversion optimisation testing schedules to ensure your paid media ROI maintains long term viability, competitive advantage, and sustainability.
Technical Website Compliance
Savvy digital marketers know that having a technically sound website is an essential component of a successful fully integrated digital strategy - plus a site capable of maximising conversion performance. Find a trade websites will want to ensure that old, or expired listings do not impact their technical website compliance.
In our last audit, MyBuilder reported 11,067 4xx error codes, and while this site has made a slight reduction, it still ranks high with 11,000 4xx error codes in Q1 2024. But we’re pleased to see that Bark has dropped its number of errors from 6,054 to 1,122, suggesting its fixed any broken redirects. MyBuilder should look to replace any lack of redirects to improve its user experience.
Site Speed & Conversion Rate Performance
When 62% of consumers are less likely to convert if they have a negative mobile site experience, ensuring that your site is quick and easy to load makes a significant improvement on your overall conversion rates. Find a trade sites will want to ensure they are quick to use, so users needing to find a tradesperson quickly will find them easy to access and navigate.
Seven of the 11 sites scored below 50% for mobile site score — a figure that’s considered ‘okay’. But this is still an improvement from the last quarter — where 9 out of 11 sites fell below 50%. Currently, Book a Builder UK has the lowest site speed (19), a drop from 33 in the last quarter. This site should use lazy loading to increase this score.
Building Competitive Advantage with Domain Authority
Domain authority is an essential metric for measuring the effectiveness of SEO performance, and helps create a reliable overall gauge of how effective your site is at achieving organic traffic, i.e. ‘free’ traffic that isn’t gained through sponsored ads. For find a trader sites, they'll want to consider working with a digital PR specialist to identify backlink reclaimation opportunities, along with ideate new ways of building backlinks and referral traffic.
The DA range for this quarter was between 90 and 53, with Checkatrade.com continuing to score the highest. Local Heroes, which scored the lowest and has dropped one point since our last audit, should implement a strategy to increase its backlinks, which will help to improve its DA rating.
Organic Performance – Mobile & Desktop
A strong organic performance is strategically important as it ensures your site ranks above competitors for key, transactional keywords. When 93% of your customers won’t go past the first page of Google, your absence or lack of targeting for essential keywords will cost you conversions. Find a trade websites will want to keep tabs on the most searched-for trades, to identify whether the cost-of-living crisis is having an impact on the types of trades people are searching for.
Five out of these 11 find a trade sites saw a fall in traffic year on year. The site to take the biggest hit was Local Heroes, which lost 81% of its mobile traffic compared to last year. Quotatis UK, on the other hand, saw the biggest growth in organic traffic (287%). This is huge considering it had a 25% loss in the previous year.
Universal Search Opportunity
Google Universal Search Results is an evolving opportunity to make your pages visible on a SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Universal results often appear before traditional listings and are eye-catching for users. Universal search results refer to rankings on a SERP that are not the traditional ‘blue line’ Google link, and a brand can appear for universal search results without being strong in standard rankings. 'Reviews' will be a key Universal Search result for find a trade websites, as they'll want to build trust with users searching for reliable tradespeople.
Similar to the previous quarter, Checkatrade.com had the largest number of total Universal Searches. This site scored the highest for all SERP categories, with its highest score for ‘People Also Ask’. Checkatrade.com had 110,400 searches for ‘Reviews’ (an important sector for this type of service), and Bark is at a close second with 99,500 searches for ‘Reviews’.
The Longtail Keyword Opportunity
Longtail keywords are often considered high intent and potentially more likely to convert as a searcher is being more specific. Optimising for longtail keywords also puts your content strategy in a strong position to rank for brand new search terms as they enter Google’s index. Find a trade sites can optimise towards specific trades, locations, and availabilities, to capture traffic from users with a high conversion intent.
Checkatrade.com had a total of 308,998 appearances in the top 100 for longtail keywords and 26,023 for the top three positions in search engines. Houzz—positioned two for all appearances—is at a close second for the top 4–10 search engine appearances. Positions 4–10 aren’t the best for online visibility, but optimising well here improves the chances to appear in the top 3 search engine results.
With the number of Facebook users in the United Kingdom (UK) forecast to hit over 42 million users by 2022, it is not surprising that companies have jumped at the opportunity to advertise on the social media platform. Facebook’s UK digital advertising revenue has been estimated to have breached 2.6b GB pounds in 2019.
We’ve included examples of Bark’s Facebook posts. All three posts include vertical images, which shows that the site is considering mobile users. However, its text seems generic and short across all posts, and it should look to add excitement to create some buzz and build a brand personality.
Top Social Shares & Content
When it comes to social media and on-site content strategies, it is important to release content that has a longer shelf life. An article is considered 'Evergreen' if it has maintained its relevancy to an audience for longer. It's great for your brand engagement, but great for Google too, who will recognise content which achieves traffic over a long period of time. Find a trade sites can create shareable content such as guides to finding the right tradesperson, common household maintenance tasks that will need carrying out, or even how to do simple fixes at home (building brand awareness and trust).
The most preferred social media platform is Facebook, while Houzz favours Pinterest (with over 320k followers). Houzz has the largest number of Facebook likes and Instagram followers. Interestingly, though, Houzz has 2.9m Facebook likes, though Bark, which has 184,500 Facebook likes, has a higher total engagement rate, which is a much more important factor to increase reach and build a connection with followers.
Website Readability & Accessibility
20% of people in the UK have a disability – 2 million of which are people living with sight loss. In addition, 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women have some degree of colour vision deficiency. When websites are not designed to meet these needs, brands lose customer interest as they turn elsewhere. Everyone will need to welcome tradespeople into their homes at some point or another, so find a trade sites must ensure that those who are vulnerable, such as blind or partially sighted users, can place trust within their choice of tradesperson from the very first point of contact.
Quotatis UK had the highest alerts in out last audit (146), and this has crept up to 151 in this quarter. After taking a closer look, this find a trade site’s errors mainly come from redundant title text and redundant links, which are easy fixes. MyJobQuote also hasn’t made improvements to its contrast errors — continuing to flag for 110. While it has a clear sense of branding throughout its website, accessibility is more important than how it looks.
Get the full 70-page Q1 2024 report
To get a copy of the full report, please complete the enquiry form. If you want to talk to us about accelerating your digital performance, please call us on 01543 410014 or schedule a call with Mike Movassaghi.